THE BIKE AND THE BROTHERHOOD!
Former NEW MODEL ARMY bassist Nelson and Martin Newell, sometime frontman of 70s ‘junkshop glam’ legends THE MIGHTY PLOD, have the sole album by their joint folk-punk project BROTHERHOOD OF LIZARDS reissued this month.
Having previously worked together in Colchester’s RCA-signed DIY pop-stars CLEANERS FROM VENUS, the pair recorded the album Lizardland for independent label Deltic in 1989. The tour was promoted by a 600-mile bicycle tour of Southern England, captured for posterity in a short but memorable BBC documentary.
Lizardland: The Complete Works features the original Deltic album plus the pair’s self-titled 9-track cassette mini-album. Released through US label Captured Tracks as a download, CD and double vinyl with initial pressings in forest green, it’s available to order here and also through Bandcamp.
The Brotherhood was dissolved when Nelson was invited to join New Model Army the following year, Where he would stay for 22 years. Newell has continued to record prolifically, both solo and under the Cleaners name, as well as writing lyrics for Captain Sensible and establishing himself as a poet of considerable note.
Speaking exclusively to Vive Le Rock, Nelson recalls the time: “I’m really pleased this has been released again – and it’s extra special because it includes the cassette we recorded first. ‘Carmosine’ was one of the first tunes we got together – Martin had a little Theatre poster blu-tac’d to the wall of the sail loft we recorded in – and we based the words on the poster image, fiddled around on acoustic guitar and mandolin and then Martin plonked a little Glockenspiel on my lap and said ‘Come up with something for an instrumental section,’ so I did – we had the song sorted in no time and I knew from then on we were onto something special with this collaboration. Other faves are ‘The Day After Yesterday’ – it’s cool how it glides along with the groovy bassline and ‘She Dreamed She Could Fly’, even though it always reminds me of the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song, and I remember whacking a snare drum in Martin’s bathroom for that one. In hindsight it would have been nice to have had more real drums on the tracks but the machine adds to the charm, I suppose. I don’t think Martin wants to tour this album again but I’m going to oil the chain and pump up the tyres on my bicycle just in case!”
Read a new interview with New Model Army in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!